"Whatever is common is despised. Advertisements are now so numerous that they are very negligently perused, and it is therefore become necessary to gain attention by magnificence of promises, and by eloquence sometimes sublime and sometimes pathetic."
Apparently being bombarded by brand clutter is not something new. The above excerpt is part of the essay written by Samuel Johnson published on January 20, 1759, for his magazine The Idler. Moving closer to our times, in 1988, NY Times reported that a typical consumer is deluged by 5000 brand messages a day which amounts to 2 million a year.
Today, in this hyper competitive play ground of brand building and brand memorability, 86% of consumers in US say that they value brands that are useful over brands that are interesting. And, how do you define value? Value is the ratio of cost of your good or service and the benefit perceived by your customer. Keep in mind, the benefits to a customer are a mix of what they get and how they perceive it.
That is why marketing has to be both the voice of the customer to the enterprise, and the voice of the enterprise to the customer.
As a brand, to flourish in the minds of your customers, your job is to be perceived as a value brand. How do you do so?
LEVERAGE STATUS WITH GENEROSITY, GAIN RELEVANCE IN UNDERSTANDING THE NEED OF THE CENTURY
Strategically, give away something of value to your prospects and your clients. This encourages them to come and spend more time with you. For example, instead of sponsoring TV ads at a premium cost, Intel launched Digital Canvas Retail to attract a global community of retailers and marketers to stay in the forefront of innovation. Another good example, Philips Electronics built the NetForum community to help doctors and hospital administrators share their expertise towards the common goal of improving care. The forum and other sponsporship events spawned new ideas, thus, driving them to file for new patents and giving birth to new products.
At CES2019 we see the branding imperative of being better —
PLAY BETTER, SLEEP BETTER, CARE BETTER, BREATHE BETTER, CLEAN BETTER, IRON BETTER — the list goes on.
“We have many health-related consumer products, and we’re bringing them underneath a strategy that recognizes the converging worlds of personal and professional healthcare and the consumerization of health,” said Ed Gala, Philips’ global head of events and sponsorships.
Philips leveraged its status as the official health technology sponsor of SXSW to promote products ranging from healthcare apps and pain relief therapy products to air fryers and other home products.
“We have different products and solutions across the personal and professional health space that help differentiate Philips, and that’s what we’re trying to emphasis through our various brand initiatives, including sponsorship.” (image: worldwideweb)
Don't be disheartened if your company does not have the muscle POWER OF THE BIG BRANDS
Use Trade Show Giveaways to Move the Levers of Generosity.
Research and pre-qualify 50 prospects before you exhibit at a certain venue. Send an invitation to those prospects that you have set aside 100 dollars for them to give away at their favorite charity when they visit your booth.
Obviously, design your booth in such a fashion that you provide space to interview them about their charitable cause. You use that media as the content that will feed your exhibit displays and later, your moments in the show.
You might also act as a facilitator of networking. Introduce your prospects with each other who have the similar passion for similar causes.
Generosity releases serotonin and oxytocin - good for your brand, good for your business.
Serotonin. Provides the feeling of significance, pride, status. It drives us to seek the recognition of others. Want to do it “for my mom, my boss, my wife.” It reinforces the sense of relationships with the group, allegiance. Simon Sinek calls this the Leadership chemical and what creates a sense of allegiance and organizational cohesion.
Oxytocin. Creates intimacy, trust; feeling that someone will protect you. Moms, babies, lovers feel this when they are protected and loved. Feeling of safety.
“Generosity is not in giving me that which I need more than you do, but it is in giving me that which you need more than I do.” ― Kahlil Gibran,
Sustainability as Soldier of Generosity
Use your branded kiosks and towers in your booth to address the relevant cause of sustainability. Explain how your company is reducing waste and contributing towards sustainability. If you are not, get with your management and devise a strategy to get into action.
“Everyone is going to need to understand [climate change] the same way you’d assume everyone in business needs to have some fluency in social media today, or that everyone would able to use a computer 20 years ago,” says Andrew Winston, author of the book The Big Pivot: Radically Practical Strategies for a Hotter, Scarcer, and More Open World.
By being sustainable, you are cutting cost. With the healthy bottom line, you can afford to be generous and relevant. There is a reason why the mega-corporation, which makes everything from Dove soap to Magnum ice cream, has pledged serious action on a variety of sustainability initiatives – including sourcing 100% of its energy for production from renewable sources by 2030 (it already cut its carbon emissions by 43% from 2008 to 2016). As Unilever outlines on its site, cutting waste and energy use, for example, means cutting both costs and exposure to price volatility. (The company says it already has shaved €700 million in costs since 2008 in this area alone). Other big brands are working on similarly ambitious initiatives: Coca-Cola, Ikea and Walmart also have committed to 100% renewable energy.
"It is not about putting purpose ahead of profits, it is purpose that drives profits." ― Alan Jope, CEO, Unilever
Before you plan your next trade show, get to know the message tool box. Anchor your design based on it. You are bound to be perceived as a brand worth doing business with.
Recent research by Cone Communications, a PR agency for consumer brands, found that 87% of Americans said they would purchase a product because of a company’s alignment on an issue they cared about. It also attracts would-be workers: nearly two-thirds of millennials – the generation that will make up half of all US employees by 2020 – said they take a company’s social and environmental commitments into account when weighing a job offer.
CONNECT THE INTENT CRUMBS
Build Connection with the Dots between Business and Brand Metrics:
We all know that tweets, retweets and likes tend to generate fair amount of brand boost. However, when all is said and done, once we start shifting the metrics to focus on customer reactions, we clearly lay down the path to provide content that the customer really values.
For example, track and analyze why on one trade show event you garnered three times more leads than on other events. Another good example, on a recent e-mail campaign that we fabricated, we received 70% click on one item and 50% conversion on that click. Now, that tells us that our target audience is looking for ways to streamline and market their event marketing in an effective fashion. Knowing this data point has prompted us to act on creation of tools of engagement that will inspire our prospects and clients to market their events with higher success rate.
How exhibitors use and plan to use 55 different technologies
And this is only scratching the surface.... truth be told; it is an ongoing endeavor for us to create vivacious content of value and relevance.
The HUMAN SPIRIT does not want to be defined by 'do loop'. It wants more.
Demonstrating Value in the Era of Big Data and Hyper-Personalization
"Marketers are playing ‘hide-and-seek’ with their target audiences, and they are often coming up short."
―Eric Schmitt, Senior Director at Gartner
The pundits at Gartner Marketing Symposium/Xpo identified 3 strategies for marketers to better identify and engage their target audiences, thus expanding brand value.
Define your audience with care
"Marketers need to take a top-down approach to their target audience and err on the side of inclusiveness, as you can always refine later. In advertising, multiple audience segments and views are a fact of life.”
Diversify and coordinate your media plan
“The goal here is to coordinate — and someday, unify — budgeting, metrics, creative, scheduling and organization.”
Make the most of imperfect measurement
“Marketers have to expect a patchwork set of imperfect metrics and make the most of it — concentrate on the handful of indicators that matter most, like cost-per-incremental reach point.”
Sustain Connectivity by Deploying Brand Metrics to Gain a Holistic View of Your Target Audience:
Fusing data from social profiles, CRM technology, product purchases, and behavioral data such as clickstreams can give you a holistic picture of your customer’s 'identity and intent'. Knowing who your target audience is, will help you present with relevant information and different ways to sustain their interest. Because, three types visitors with completely different intent might be checking you out at your next trade show. One attendee might be a consultant checking out the depths of your product capabilities, the other might be a CEO in the prowl for forging new relationships and the third might be a buyer who is in the midst of the decision making process and your brand happens to be one of them. Ask yourself, what tactics are you going to employ to keep these interested people to come back to you for more.
Engage your target audience in a value-based exchange of ideas and information, while "position your brand as a trusted resource".
As mass digitization takes hold of our culture with self-identifying customers traversing across the social scape of Google, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, it is critical for for you as a business entity to create high value offerings that will empower your customers and have them come back to you for more.
If you are a brand ambassador responsible for your company's brand mileage, and you are exhibiting at trade shows, try this.
This follows along the footstep of what KPMG did during the World Economic Forum at Davos. Yours, does not have to be as elaborate as this or it can be, if you have the necessary resources. Set up a microsite about the show that you will be exhibiting at. Pepper it with show related hashtags. Then, in real time filter and analyze the comments and the trends that are being shared online and offline in real time. Add your own spin on those products, interactions and design trends that is creating a buzz on the show floor. By adding this multiplier effect, you are bound to perceived as a brand to be reckoned with.
The above multi-tasking 10 x 20 linear booth design included everything from a storage room, custom displays to a live broadcast center — complete with an elevated stage, presentation monitors, plethora of lighting, internet and audio visual equipment. During the Consumer Electronic Show, it offered live show coverage and interviews with the movers and shakers of the industry — a fantastic way to create brand value and brand authority. (image: worldwideweb)
"We know not through our intellect but through our Experience."
By encouraging your audience different ways to experience your brand, you are building an ongoing brand relationship. You are consciously creating brand influencers, as opposed to making a connection that will secure you a sale from one individual at any given time. And, the difference between building a relationship and procuring a connection is directly driven by how valuable your brand is.
Value is a CORRELATION of cost CHARGED TO benefit REAPED
Creating brand value doesn not happen over night. It takes years to build it. It takes diligence and determination, focus and fortitude, but, above all having the grit to triumph over chains of unceasing hurdles thrown down your way.
Start creating brand value by creating a "sense of comfort, recognition, and trust in your engagement, your message, and your products. It is more about the content and message than the logo and the colors.”